Spanish doctor suspended in Millar affair
Friday, July 2, 2004 11.00pm
Another dark cloud hangs over Euskaltel as they spend their doctor due to his links with David Milla
Euskaltel's incident-hit run-up to the Tour has continued with the announcement that the Spanish team has suspended one of its doctors, Jesus Losa, who has allegedly been named by David Millar as advising the British rider on the use of EPO. Euskaltel acknowledged that Losa has been working with Millar in a private capacity, and in a press statement the team stated Losa "has been provisionally suspended because of his involvement in the case of Cofidis rider David Millar." The suspension of Loja stems from a story in Friday's edition of Le Monde. The French paper said that, according to sources close to the Nanterre doping inquiry in which Millar is now heavily involved, the British rider had allegedly mentioned the role taken by Losa as his medical adviser, which included prescribing EPO before some major competitions. Millar's French lawyer admitted in a statement to the press after the Briton was questioned by Nanterre judge Richard Pallain that Millar had got "several things off his mind" during his two-and-a-half hour questioning by Pallain on Thursday. The news about Losa's suspension comes little more than a day after Euskaltel's Gorka Gonzalez was forced out of the Tour when medical tests revealed his red blood cell count was above permitted limits. Euskaltel's David Etxebarria was forced to sit out the Bicicleta Vasca race last month for the same reason. Apparently aware of the possibility he might be implicated in the Millar affair, Losa did not travel to the Tour with the Euskaltel team. Their directeur sportif, Julian Gorospe, told the Spanish press they feel under a state of siege, and blamed this on the UCI's determination to come down hard on Spanish teams in the wake of former Kelme pro Jesus Manzano's allegations of doping within that team. Team boss Miguel Madariaga was also angered by the new scandal affecting his squad, and suggested that Gonzalez's elevated haematocrit reading was the result of faulty equipment used by the UCI-accredited doctors rather than any wrongdoing on the rider's part.
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